I love Independence Day! The fireworks, parties, and celebrations are all wonderful. But did you know that America’s independence was foretold in the Book of Mormon? I will show you, and I have added a few parentheses to help you see what I mean. In 1 Nephi 13: 16-19 it says:
16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity (The Early Settlers) did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them.
17 And I beheld that their mother Gentiles (England) were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them.
18 And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle.
19 And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.
Independence led to the Restoration
I believe that our nation was founded and blessed by God so that the fullness of the Gospel could be restored to the Earth. No other nation could provide the religious liberty needed for the church to thrive.
As the heart of both the birthplace of Liberty and the birthplace of the LDS church, many members of the LDS church really enjoy celebrating Independence Day.
When we lived in Pennsylvania and Illinois, our church congregations always got together for big parties. There were games, food, and everyone was invited.
Even the full-time missionaries took a break and came to join the fun. We played flag football and made s’mores and watched the fireworks. It was a time we were guaranteed to have a lot of fun.
Utah goes all out
Now that we live in the Salt Lake area, Independence Day is on a whole other level. Every year since we moved into our subdivision it has been a 360-degree fireworks show every 4th of July.
The whole neighborhood goes nuts. At any one time, you can see no less than 7 fireworks shows going off in people’s yards.
There are so many aerial fireworks that it rivals the show the city puts on. We used to gather in the park with family and friends. Now we just stay home and have folks over.
We participate in our own explosions, and it’s a lot of fun. Without fail, there is so much smoke in the air after all the fireworks, that the day after Independence Day it rains. In a place as dry as Salt Lake that is no small thing.
Freedom isn’t free
Our freedoms in this country are a big deal. I have ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War, some giving their lives. Today it can be easy to forget that our rights were hard won.
Our right to vote, to express our opinions, and to be involved in our government should never be taken lightly.
For example, I just witnessed one of our streets finally get the street lights we have been petitioning the city for. It has taken years. It all started when a neighborhood kid was killed on that street because he had to be at the bus stop before dawn.
He was running late and crossed the road without looking. Without the street lights, he was hit and killed by a truck. It was horrible and heartbreaking. But knowing we could do something to prevent another tragedy was empowering.
You can change things
All who knew this boy and his family have been asking the Mayor to put these lights up. Being a small town, I know the Mayor. She is a great lady. I even shop at her plant nursery for my vegetable plants. Seeing the fruits of our efforts is a beautiful thing. Our voices were heard, and that is the beauty of living in the US. You can make a difference. Let us never take that for granted.